- The Washington Times - Friday, July 14, 2006

The Cincinnati Bengals used a third-round pick in yesterday’s NFL supplemental draft to select Woodbridge, Va., native and former University of Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks.

Brooks was the only player taken among the seven entered to be selected.

The Bengals, who forfeited their third-round choice in next spring’s draft, use a 4-3 defense under coach Marvin Lewis. Entering training camp, the starters are Odell Thurman in the middle and David Pollack and Brian Simmons at the outside positions.

If Cincinnati wants Brooks to bulk up from his current weight of 260 to play defensive end, he’ll compete with Justin Smith, Robert Geathers and rookie Frostee Rucker.

Brooks was unavailable for comment and his agent, Greg Williams, did not return a voice mail.

The Bengals were one of several teams that attended Brooks’ workout last month in Charlottesville, and Cincinnati linebackers coach Ricky Hunley ran the session. San Francisco’s Mike Nolan was the only head coach in attendance and the 49ers, because of their 3-4 scheme and lack of depth at outside linebacker, appeared to be a likely landing spot for Brooks.

Brooks entered the supplemental draft following his dismissal from the Cavaliers earlier this year.

Lewis was unavailable for comment.

Hunley said in a statement: “I’ve known Ahmad since he was in high school and there’s no denying he has behaved through much of his career as a very immature individual. But I believe he’s a young man who can learn to do things the right way, and he has exceptional talent as a player. He’ll get the chance to show he can use that talent to help our team.”

Brooks will have a quick turnaround. The Bengals open training camp July 29 in Georgetown, Ky. Their first preseason game is Aug. 13 against the Redskins. Brooks’ father, Perry, played for the Redskins from 1977 to 1985.

Cincinnati hasn’t been afraid to draft players — particularly in the third round — with red flags on their resumes. In 2005, the Bengals picked receiver Chris Henry, who has been arrested four times. In April, they tabbed Southern California defensive end Rucker, who according to profootballtalk.com, has faced several accusations of misconduct against females.


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